British Airways continues to push with its U.S. growth plan. UK’s national carrier has launched three new U.S. routes within a fortnight this fall. This has made travel industry experts sit up and take notice. Media reports said that even before unveiling new routes, the airline had conducted flights services to more destinations in the United States in comparison to other European carriers.
The recent launch of flights to three new U.S. cities – Oakland, New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale – has boosted the prospects of London-based British Airways enabling it to further strengthen its presence in the United States. The airline is presently serving 25 airports in the U.S.
Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group (which is parent company of British Airways), said, “The fact that the airline is expanding its presence in the U.S. shouldn’t surprise people in anyway. Our company had assessed the U.S. market and seen opportunities to further expand in that country.”
It may be noted that the announcement for the launch of the New Orleans route had come after British Airways made known its intention that it would be discontinuing its flights services between Chinese city Chengdu and London Heathrow. This resulted in freeing up “slots” at London’s Heathrow Airport and enabling the airline to launch new flights to New Orleans. The airline earlier used to operate flights to New Orleans in the 1980s before restoring it now. The airline also said that it would be serving London Heathrow-New Orleans route with the help of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
According to the reports, there’s though a different motivation that led British Airways in expanding its U.S. services with new flights to Oakland and Fort Lauderdale. While the New Orleans route is being operated out of its primary hub London Heathrow, the flights to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland will however be conducted from the airline’s secondary hub at London’s Gatwick Airport, which is mostly used for operating flights to leisure destinations.